Do Bullets Go Bad? If you plan on surviving any type of end of the world collapse its going to take ammo. There are many articles out there where people show you many ways to get your hands on high quality, bulk ammo for cheap. Maybe you are in a situation where you have a …
Well, it’s that time of year when I feel the need to declutter stuff around the house and garage. Again. I actually helped a friend yesterday declutter stuff in her master bedroom closet. I don’t know about you, but if someone will just come and talk to me as I start pulling stuff out of closets, it’s a lot more fun. I had gone to breakfast with her and she mentioned how overwhelming it is to organize closets and cupboards, etc. I told her I would help her, then I went to pick up some zippered bags and called to see when we could get started. I brought my Minute Timer but we didn’t use it. We jumped in and started tossing, recycling, and boxed stuff to sell. I like to clean my house in 15-minute increments because then it makes me work faster as I hear the timer tick.
Anyone that knows me really well, understands my passion for organizing everything. I really think I am OCD and I own it. If my daughters mention a closet could use some organizing, I’m on it. They know I love cleaning out stuff and labeling everything. It’s probably a good thing I don’t live close to IKEA or The Container Store, I love those stores. I could browse in those departments with containers and organizers for hours.
Let’s make this easy today, you can use 33-gallon clear bags for donating stuff, black bags for trash, or if you have some empty boxes you’ve saved for moving, just them and be sure to label them based on what’s inside. If the stuff you pull out of the closets, cupboards, drawers, or the clothes hanging up in closets are no longer useful or no longer give you joy, it’s time to let the stuff go. I promise you’ll feel calm and joy in your life with less. The biggest bonus you can give to yourself is letting go of clothes that someone else could use today, not ten years from now. If you haven’t worn them in three years, chances are you will never wear them again.
I know, I can hear some people saying, “but this cost me $$$$,” but if you aren’t wearing it, why hang on to it? Has it been ten years since you wore it or used it? Is it a collector’s item, Or is it just clutter? Let’s keep the good stuff and let go of the rest. Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t want my daughters to have to go through useless stuff after I pass away.
I know it’s hard to let go, I get it. My friend mentioned a quilt made by her grandmother was frayed on the edges, but she felt a sentimental attachment to it. You could tell it was a well-loved quilt. I told her I would help her “bind” the quilt another day. We put that special quilt in a zippered bag to protect it with love. These are the bags I buy, you can get them at Bed, Bath & Beyond or order them online. Sweater Bags and Quilt Bags. I used to buy those “vacuum bags” but they ended up not working out for me. They would pop open and split.
Now, the kitchen “stuff” is a totally different ball game. I’m a kitchen gadget junkie, I confess. I love cooking, baking and trying new recipes, it’s my passion for life, I guess. Yes, I do have those cupboards organized pretty well. But I will organize them another day. Again to see if I can eliminate things that haven’t been put to use, no matter what the reason. Somethings the tuff decision is whether to throw the items away or give them away. My husband tells me that someone can put to use the things I don’t want or need. He likes taking things to organizations like Goodwill, or the Deseret Industries. He figures those folks know best what can be sold or placed elsewhere, so we drop them off and let the people there make the decision. Worst case, things like the clothes will be used to make scrap or rags.
This is where you have to be ready to make a decision whether you can let go of stuff or not.
I know, I can hear some of you say “it’s overwhelming to know where to start” or you may say, “I hate to declutter stuff.” Or you may have zero interest in cleaning out any closet, cupboard or dresser drawers. No worries.
I remember my great-grandmother taking pieces of fabric from worn out dresses, shirts, and blouses and “piecing” a quilt with the different fabrics. Those quilts continue to be treasured. Donate what can be recycled.
You can have a garage sale, sell stuff on Craigslist or Facebook Market Place. You may be able to take some items to a consignment store. This will help your pocketbook and help someone else at the same time to purchase items they couldn’t normally afford to buy. It’s a win-win for everyone.
When in doubt about stuff, keep it and wait six months when you have time to purge your house again. I have an extra Bernina sewing machine I bought a few years ago. I won’t sell it because I would be lucky to get pennies on the dollar if I tried to sell it. I am saving it for one of my granddaughters who will get married someday.
If the item(s) cannot be fixed, repaired, or recycled, place them in your trash can. And don’t look back. Trust me, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
Here’s the deal, there are so many people that could wear those shoes on the shoe racks that you will never wear, those shirts that no longer fit you, or those jackets that would be great for someone else to use. I went with a young girl and she purchased prom shoes and a prom dress at a thrift store. She was thrilled and looked beautiful in that slightly used dress! I was thrilled to hear that P.A.W.S. has a place to donate stuff to help the pets in this world have some money to help them. Yes, I dropped some stuff off today. What a great feeling.
I hope this post helps you declutter stuff that can be used by someone else, give you some extra cash, and feel the joy of living with less stuff. May God bless this world to be prepared for the unexpected.
Declutter: AdobeStock_112066550 by Marek
If you’ve been following the 52 Week Savings Plan, you should have a whopping $10 set aside. Don’t worry, that little bundle of money will continue to grow! Each month I’ll be sharing tips for making the most of the money you have to enable that nest egg to grow and grow and grow. If […]
Where To Hibernate Your Guns As Americans we all know the importance of our second amendment. Some take a stronger stance than others. The question that floats in my head is, ‘what will you do if the come for your guns.’ Its true our guns are safe today and they might be safe tomorrow. What …
A Frugal Guide to Freeze Dried Food Storage While freeze dried food storage is a crucial part of your prepping plan it should not cost you everything and you should not go in debt trying to stock your shelves. This is a very important thing to understand about prepping in general. Fight the panic prepping. …
The food label and what it means!
Host: Lynna… “A Preppers Path” Audio player provided!
Food and the prepared life seems simple enough, however, there are so many varied aspects or aisles to travel down. There is the often first heard of, storage, how much for how long, bulk or freeze dried or? Grow your own, farmers market, coops, buying clubs? They all have something in common, they are all about food but for all the hoopla in the prepper world have you thought of what you are eating.
Storing food, say a month or two’s worth, is no longer the habit of a fringe group of Doomers. Everyday moms like me have an extra stash of food set away for those “just in case” events. After working on my own food storage pantry for about 9 years now, I’ve learned a lot and […]
Most food storage products purchased from food storage companies are pretty much the same all across the board. Foods like wheat and freeze-fried fruit are all very similar no matter what brand you choose to buy. Other products, and dairy products in particular, are not that way so much. They vary from company to company, and […]
Written by Harrison Chucks Are you looking for containers to store your emergency gear? Are you finding it difficult to accommodate all of that camping gear in your home? If yes, the 5 options which we would discuss today would be the perfect containers for storage. Combination Lock Storage Box If you’re looking for something more high-tech, this one is combination lock storage box is for you. It has a programmable lock as well. This would ensure that whatever you […]
If the #1 rule to purchasing a home is, “Location, Location, Location,” then the #1 rule of food storage is, “rotation, rotation, rotation.” I mention it because some thirty-year-old brown sugar and chocolate chips recently came into my possession, and it probably would have been good if it had been rotated out a few decades […]
How to Make a Hidden Compartment From Jerry Can As preppers we value a place to hide things. This is a characteristic that we value more than most. If only we all could have a batcave of our won. Whenever I see an article that offers a new way to hide things in walls or …
Long Term Food Storage Methods Going hungry during a crisis is not an option, and nothing brings you down like the lack of food and water. Running out of food is something all preppers think about, no matter how full their pantry is. All humans have this fear of hunger, and it’s something embedded deep …
Built in Console Cabinet with Secret Compartment Why are secret compartments so cool? Though most of us have no one who would ever come searching our homes with the desire to find out what you have. Still, the desire to hide things is so huge in Americans that it’s practically absurd. The truth is we …
Someone pointed out the shelving in a previous post.
For storage of food and household goods, I use the wire shelving units found at CostCo. They’re about $90 and you get four uprights, six shelves, and four wheels. What a lot of people don’t know is that you can buy a cheap little force multiplier that really opens up a world for your shelving plans. These little jewels are called “S-hooks”.
Imagine that you buy a shelving unit and set it up. You have one rack of six shelves, yes? Now, lets say you bought a second unit. You set that one up. You now have two columns of shelves next to each other. Ah, but if you had the s-hooks you could have three clumns of shelves, using those same two units. The s-hooks allow you to hang a shelf off the edge of another shelf. And since you can put the s-hook anywhere along the edge of the shelf, you can make L-shaped shelving arrangements to co around corners, or even T-shaped arrangements.
Here’s an example:
Also, note that when you buy wire shelving make sure the shelving has a reinforcing rib running down the middle of each shelf. In the first image you can see a rib that is just like the one running around the edges of he shelf. You don’t want just a piece of wire running the length of the shelf, you want an actual rib. Anything else and the thing will sag and not hold weight well. I’ve been using the wire shelving I got at Costco for over fifteen years and never had a problem with it. Yeah, it’s made in China but there’s not a lot out there in American-made wire shelving that meets my needs.
Anyway, I highly recommend the wire shelving for your food/gear storage and if you do decide to go that way, definitely get the s-hooks….they will make the shelving so much more versatile.
Despite what you see on The Walking Dead, decent hygiene can make a big difference in a crisis. Ignore, for a moment, no one wants to be squeezed into a pickup truck with six sweaty guys in multicam who smell like the towel bin of an NFL locker room. Think about this, after a long day of sweating, getting dirty, possibly getting some bodily fluids of all sortsa flavors sprayed on you, and the infrequent application of bugspray/sunblock, etc, you wind up getting a decent size cut or abrasion on you. In TWD our sweaty, grungy heroes carry on effortlessly. In the real world, you’re setting yourself up for all sorts of nasty infection-y badness.
Preparedness is about prevention. You’re stopping problems before they happen. You know how in the winter season we’re all told to wash our hands frequently to prevent catching colds? We all agree that’s a good idea. Well, a shower or some other form of bathing, with soap, on a daily (or more frequent) basis is just as good.
Soap is awesome stuff but it’s a mild pain in the butt to store. I like to use Ivory soap because I can use on my skin, in my hair, and even to clean clothes. It’s sort of a Swiss army knife of soap. Problem is, it is fabulously hydroscopic. Don’t believe me? Go grab a paper-wrapped bar of Ivory soap and peel the wrapper off. I guarantee you the wrapper will be damp, moist, or adhere to the soap in a manner suggesting a high moisture content. And if you leave soap exposed to air too long…it turns into a rock. (Which seems counterintuitive since you would think that if it absorbs moisture it would turn to mush.)
I mention it because while I like Ivory soap, I hate paying for it. Surprisingly, I found a deal on Amazon for 100 bars for $40. (Requires that Yuppie Survivalist luxury – Amazon Prime) Well, a hundred bars oughtta last me a while. So, I ordered ’em up and they arrived today.
So now that they’re here, and we’ve established that they fossilize after long enough time exposed to air, what do we do? Stop exposing them to air. Break the vacuum sealer out of storage and repackage things.
This is one of those situations where a vacuum sealer is great for a task other than storing food. Seriously, if you think they’re just good for putting food away and not much else, you really need to think more creatively. Go get one. You’ll never regret it.
A few years ago I came across a slightly better deal at my local grocery store. Three bars for a buck. I wound up picking up all they had and I packaged them the same way I’m packaging these. I finally used up the last ones last month and they stored just fine, I suppose it’s possible that with enough hot water and scrubbing, the dessicated bars of soap might work, but why take chances?
So, I’m set for the next couple years on soap and can keep myself clean and smelling awesome after a long day of looting burned out police cars, manning roadblocks, and fending off zombies. Or, more likely, I’ve simply knocked off one of many things on my logistical checklist for the next several years.
But, point is, if you’re going to store large amounts of things like food, ammo, toilet paper, and batteries you should also go just as deep on the personal hygiene stuff as well. Being stuck in Katrinaville (Or San Juan, I suppose) is no time for skin infections, bad teeth, conjunctivitis, ear infections, and that sorta thing. Floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, deodorant, washcloth, toothbrush, talc, a comb, razors (Ivory works for shaving foam), and some hand sanitizer will give you pretty much everything you need to prevent the kinda funk that knocks your efficiency down when you need it the most.
Garden tools perform some hard, dirty jobs for us. But by the end of the summer they often need maintenance or at least a good cleaning.
Before you hang up your tools for the winter, take some time to get them in tip-top shape. Following the steps below during the end of fall will mean a faster and easier start to next spring’s gardening season. It also will save money in the long run, since tools kept in good shape won’t rust and won’t need to be replaced as often.
1. Clean and dry
If any of your tools have dried soil caked, pull out a wire brush and give them a good scrubbing. If necessary, dunk or soak the tools in a bucket of warm water to loosen stubborn soil (soap isn’t necessary).
Tree-trimming tools — like pruning shears or clippers — should be wiped down. If there’s any sap on those tools, they will need a little extra work. Sometimes, a soak in hot water is all that’s needed to remove sap, but if it’s stubborn, you may need to use another product to get it off, like turpentine, WD-40, Pine-Sol, or a solvent that’s specifically for dissolving resin (check the chainsaw section at your local home improvement store).
Once all your tools are clean, spread them out in the sun to dry or give them a good rub down with a cloth.
2. Remove rust
Even if you take good care of your tools, rust happens. But a rusty tool doesn’t need to be tossed. Small spots of rust can be scrubbed off with steel wool or a wire brush. Heavily rusted tools are perfect candidates for the wire brush attachment on your drill. (Since this attachment often throws off small bits of wire, make sure to wear eye protection.)
3. Sand and sharpen
Sanding down wooden handles helps remove splinters and also smooths out the rough, raised grain that happens when wood gets wet.
Most metal garden tools — including pruning shears, clippers, shovels, spades, hoes, pitchforks and hand trowels — have some sort of blades. Keeping all these blades sharp will make your work easier. And, in the case of tools (like shears and clippers) that cut plants, a sharp cut is easier on the plant, too.
All you need to sharpen your garden tools is a mill file, which is a long, flat metal file. Use the existing bevel on the edge of the tool’s blade as a guide. Place one end of the file on the bevel and push the file, using light, even pressure, against the bevel and away from your body. After each stroke, move the file to the next spot. Once the blade is completely sharpened, use 300 grit sandpaper to remove any “burrs” (tiny shreds of metal) clinging to the blade.
Sanitizing isn’t necessary for extending the life of your tools, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for your garden. Sanitizing will rid your tools of fungi and pathogens so that you don’t transfer those to your plants in the spring. Mix one part bleach to 10 parts water in a bucket, and swish each tool through the water. Once sanitized, your tools will need to dry in the sun again or be wiped down with a towel.
5. Season with oil
Both the wooden and metal parts of your garden tools should be treated with oil. Although virtually any kind of oil will do (including WD-40 and motor oil), boiled linseed oil is the best choice for tools that come in contact with food-producing plants. (In a pinch, vegetable cooking oil is an effective and safe alternative.) Use an old cloth or towel to liberally spread oil over all metal and wooden parts of your tools, and let the tools sit for about 15 minutes before wiping them dry. Oiling helps prevent metal from rusting and wood from cracking, and it’s a great way to extend the life of your tools.
6. Store wisely
A dry environment is a must for overwintering your tools. And, if at all possible, hang your tools up. Tools that are stored resting on their blades (such as spades) or that are tossed onto a pile with other tools are more susceptible to damage.
Alternately, storing tools in a bucket of sand and vegetable oil can help prevent rust, keep tools clean, and even help keep tools sharp, since pushing them into the sand has an abrasive action on the blades. Mix about a half gallon of vegetable oil into five gallons of sand and shove in anything with a blade — from shovels and trowels to pruning shears.
Although I, for one, often feel “gardened out” by the time late fall rolls around, spending a few hours on an autumn afternoon cleaning and preparing garden tools for winter storage will be well worth it come spring.
Do you have any other tips for storing garden tools? If so, let us know in the comments below.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Lack of space is hindering my ability to add to my emergency supplies so I restarted my de-cluttering efforts. I have two large boxes of files and miscellaneous items that have been sitting around for two years taking up space. Why haven’t I gone through them before? Procrastination, that’s why! I dread going through these boxes because I don’t want to deal with what’s inside. I finally made myself open them and deal with […]
Apples just seem to overflow here at our homestead. And thankfully so! One of my favorite memories of growing apples is the day those little red beauties are fully ripe and ready to pick. That’s the day I know my busy canning and baking season begins and my home will smell gloriously of all things apple, including apple pie filling.
They are an excellent staple to have on the pantry shelf, easy to can and put up, and best of all…delicious! In a crisis, the type that all Survival Moms prep and plan for, comfort foods will be so appreciated by everyone in the family. Can you imagine the looks on the faces of your family when you pull a hot apple pie or apple cobbler out of the oven while you’re hunkered down weathering a particularly bad storm or some other crisis? Comfort foods are more important that we realize.
Each year, we can huge quantities of applesauce, make apple butter for the grandparents, and dehydrate apple chips, but far and away our favorite way to preserve all the beautiful apples we get in the fall is Apple Pie Filling! No matter how much we make, there can never be enough for our family and friends.
I can seasonally and in bulk to keep my pantry shelves stocked. This also gives me a chance to teach my children the art of canning and have shelf stable (delicious) foods on hand, at the ready. This helps me use sales and in-season foods at the best price and quality, while keeping the pantry stocked.
Apples are so versatile that we came up with 27 Things You Can Do With Apples. Now, it’s prime time to finish canning those apples and stock your pantry from scratch!
Homemade Apple Pie Filling!
I love to have this super simple, yet very delicious, pie filling on my pantry shelf! It’s easy to can and makes for effortless desserts all year long. What’s not to love? Here’s my recipe for apple pie filling.
Apple Pie Filling
18 cups of your favorite canning apples, peeled & sliced (about 6 lbs.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups brown sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
¼ 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
8 cups water
In a large bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. In a large pot, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for two minutes. It will start to thicken up.
Add your apples and return to a boil. (You may want to drain off some of the lemon juice, but some folks think it adds a nice flavor.) Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
Don’t forget to stir OFTEN. You don’t want this to burn!
Have your canner, quart jars, and lids hot and ready. Pack each jar with filling, leaving head space, 1 inch from the top.
Process in your water bath canner for 20 minutes. Makes about 5 – 6 quarts! Carefully remove your jars from the canner. Set your jars on a towel, counter, or table for 24 hours, then line your pantry shelf!
Enjoy! You’ve just made it so simple for yourself to have a homemade dessert ready in minutes for your family, to take to a family in need, or that last minute congregation or family gathering! We use this as a base ingredient to make apple pies, crisps, ice cream topping, dump cakes, etc., etc.–in minutes! Apple pie filling always makes a welcome gift, too.
Apartment Prepping and Small Spaces Ray Becker… “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! In the first segment I cover the equities markets, metals, the dollar, Shanghai metal prices, BDI, VIX…All of the Indicators that we’ve been following. I believe that it is critical for us to closely monitor all activity at the beginning of … Continue reading Apartment Prepping and Small Spaces!
4 Food Storage Mistakes You Might Be Making Masters call it the 10,000 rule. Bruce Lee said very succinctly that he did not concern himself with the man who has thrown 10000 kicks once; instead he feared the man who has thrown 1 kick 10,000 times. I bring up these two instances because we have …
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com One of the biggest challenges in preparing for emergencies in an apartment is finding storage space. You also need spaces to hide things away from prying eyes. Here are a few sneaky storage ideas I’ve tried myself, or sent in by readers: Over the door shoe organizer You don’t necessarily have to use it for shoes: Store extra reserves such as bottled water, food, toilet paper and power outage needs such as batteries, […]
The post 5 Sneaky Storage Spaces for Supplies in a Small Apartment appeared first on Apartment Prepper.
Smart Food Storage! Host: Katzcradul “The Homestead Honey Hour” Since all the Honeys of The Homestead Honey hour believe it’s important to formulate shows based on what our subscribers and listeners want, Katzcradul is devoting this upcoming show to the discussion of “Smarter Food Storage”, how to get the most: for your food storage dollar, … Continue reading Smart Food Storage!
Summer is upon us and that means summer items are now available. As you have no doubt noticed, some items are only available during certain seasons, and if you miss the opportunity to get those items when you can, you are faced with either waiting until next year or finding an online retailer carrying the item.
This summer, consider adding several kiddie pools to your preparedness supplies. These pools are cheap and come in both rigid plastic and inflatable vinyl. Despite the myriad of colors and patterns of these pools, they can serve very important roles in your preparedness plan.
How many of these pools should you keep on hand? Not every type and size of pool is best suited for each of the uses below, though any would probably work if that was all you had. You will need to size the pool to the task for which it is best suited. After reading the 15 preparedness uses for kiddie pools below, you may find yourself wanting more than just a few of these valuable preparedness assets and in varying sizes.
1. Emergency Water Storage
Among the first things you should do after a disaster strikes is to fill up the bathtubs with water (assuming, of course, you are home and there are no other immediate needs). But, why stop there? If you are going to need water, fill up as many containers as possible.
Small kiddie pools can hold between 30 and 250 gallons of water, depending on the size and construction. Larger pools, like those designed for an entire family’s summer fun, can contain between 1000 and 5000 gallons. However, even a small pool holding only 50 gallons can provide enough drinking water for a family of five for 10 days. Three of these pools filled would be an entire month of drinking water.
If storing outside, cover them with a tarp or sheet of plastic to keep out debris and reduce loss to evaporation. No need to worry about treating this water, you can treat it before using it, depending on the use. In addition to drinking, this extra water gives you additional ability to flush toilets, put out fires, and water the garden.
You can avoid your water storage becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes by using Mosquito Dunks.
2. Rainwater Collection, Expedient Cistern
A backyard full of pools during a rainstorm can collect quite a bit of water. If you are looking at an extended period without a working municipal water system, or as a back up to your well water system, being able to replenish your water storage is like having the ability to make gold.
With a little bit of creative ingenuity and some tarps or plastic sheeting, you will be able to maximize the water collection that each pool collects. Like storing water from the tap, this water does not need to be treated until it is time to use it. Unless you are only using to water the garden or if water is extremely scarce, do not collect water from roof runoff, as this water will be highly contaminated, particularly from bird droppings.
Unfortunately, this is the point where I need to remind you to check your local laws about collecting rain water.
If you have the ability to collect water from a spring or running surface water, especially if it is an intermittent water source, you can use the pool for an expedient cistern. By running pipe from one pool to another, you can expand the amount of water stored, only limited by the number of pools and amount of pipe you have on hand.
3. Decontamination Station
This is an often overlooked use for these small pools, though it is an important one. There are two major scenarios where you will need a home decontamination station: pandemics and radioactive matter.
During a pandemic, you can decrease the risk of getting sick from people, who may have come in contact with the virus, by decontaminating them before they enter your home. Likewise, if any of your family is caught in the plume of a radiological dispersal device, they will need to be decontaminated when they get home. The radioactive particles, from dirty bombs or from an actual nuclear detonation, must be scrubbed from the body to stop the irradiation and to prevent inhalation or ingestion of these particles.
When you decontaminate, you need to control the water runoff, so it does not further contaminate people or other portions of your home. Use kiddie pools to collect this water by having the person stand in the middle of the pool as you decontaminate him or her. The contaminated water can then be treated or disposed.
Please note there is much more involved with decontamination procedures but it is beyond the scope of this article.
4. Mixing Bulk Foods
If you like to mix your bulk ingredients before you package them for long-term storage, you can speed up the process by mixing up a pool-sized batch. For example, if you prefer a blend of hard red winter wheat with a little bit of hard white wheat mixed in, you can mix up several buckets worth before sealing. Another example is buying your beans separately and crafting your own blend of mixed beans. Pre-mixing allows you to have what you need when you need it, instead of having to open several or many containers to derive your mix.
When we were setting up our Square Foot Garden beds, a kiddie pool would have been the perfect container for mixing our soil and amendments.
5. Mixing Cement
Speaking of mixes, a kiddie pool makes for an expedient cement mixer. Handy if you happen to have no electrical power, but need to do masonry repairs. This is commonly used in Arizona by landscapers when they have stonework to do, but don’t want to drag along the large mixer when all they need is a small batch. The big drawback to this is the pool is not good for much else once you are finished.
6. Raised Garden Bed
Once the canary in the coal mine keels over, you will probably be looking for quick ways to expand your garden. Using rigid plastic kiddie pools, you may be able to add a raised garden faster than you could work the soil for a new plot, particularly if you live in an area with poor soil or your new plot was formerly occupied by grass. Among other aspects, raised bed gardens are easier for controlling weeds, waterine, and for avoiding grasses sprouting from recently pulled up sod. These also allow you to grow food where there is no dirt.
7. Bathing, Shower and Washing Station
It’s the apocalypse, but does that mean you have to fight the zombie hordes stinking of B.O.? Of course not! Rig up your solar water heater to a shower head, tie up a privacy curtain around the pool, and step in. Ah!
Seriously, though, staying clean is important to staying healthy. Whether your rigged shower is inside or out, the kiddie pool will collect the water for other uses (toilets, fires, garden, and so on). Additionally, the wide pool prevents muddy splashes that occur when you try to shower standing on the ground.
What’s that? No solar water heater or solar powered water pressure? No problem. Heat some water up with your favorite low-tech method and have a bath, or at least a sponge bath.
Lacking a washtub, these small pools can also serve for laundry purposes. Three pools (soap wash, first rinse, second rinse) and some clothesline and you can face the undead in a clean pair of jeans and shirt.
8. Expedient Fish Pool
Without refrigeration, meat spoils rapidly. If you can capture fish from your local fishing spot and move them to your expedient fish pool, you’ll be able to keep them alive and fresher longer. You may even decide to start breeding them (see aquaponics below).
9. Expedient Hydroponics
Hydroponics is an amazing way to grow food without soil. Once into a SHTF scenario, you may be faced with having to grow food everywhere you have space. Expedient hydroponics systems will allow you to grow food where there is no soil.
10. Expedient Aquaponics
If you have the fish in one pool and the plants in another, you might as well connect them into an aquaponics system. The fish water helps fertilize the plants on the hydroponics side, which in turn cleans up the water for the fish. While using pools would not be the best vessel for any of these last three (fish pool, hydroponics, and aquaponics), it will allow you to get things going until you can find more suitable containers.
11. Crib or Baby Pen
Watching a toddler or crawling infant often means you are unable to attend other tasks. An inflatable pool with sides high enough and thick enough to prevent the child from crawling or falling out, and filled with the child’s favorite toys, allows you the ability to take care of other things. This can be quite advantageous when outside of your home, like when the family is doing some “emergency camping,” by preventing the child from tripping and getting hurt on the uneven and rough ground.
12. Staying Cool in Hot Weather
Even with all these other uses, the pool is still a great way to stay cool by using it as a pool. Without electricity for air conditioning, many people will suffer heat-related illnesses. However, a small pool in the shade can provide needed comfort and emergency treatment for heat stroke and heat exhaustion. When you are providing your own medical care, a pool of water can literally be a life saver.
And not only for people, but pets can also overheat. As long as the water isn’t frivolously wasted on the ground (possibly impossible with pets), it can be used for the big three (gardening, fire control, and toilet flushing).
13. Large Solar Still
If you live in an area having a lot of sunshine, you can use two pools to set up a large solar still. Place a small pool concentrically inside a larger pool. You will need to start with clean pools and attach clear plastic over them, so the clean water runs into the larger pool. To prevent having to open up the plastic and pause the distillation process, rig up some tubing for putting dirty water into the inner pool, and getting distilled water from the larger pool. This large solar still is another way you can reclaim water used for washing or making other water safe to drink.
14. Emergency Raft for Gear or Pets During Flood
Back in the mid 1990s, this author lost about half of his possessions in a 500-year flood. The three days of deluge-like rainfall caused the local river to swell in a matter of hours and people awoke to find themselves in the middle of a half-mile wide flooded river.
One of the items people needed were large containers that floated, so they could drag their pets and whatever possessions they could to safety. Small pools would have worked well for this. While they would not make a sea-worthy raft in any sense of the term, they do work well for expedient emergency rafts.
15. Indoor Pet Pooping Station
You have provided for emergency sanitation for you and your family, including toilet paper, buckets, bags, sanitizing and deodorizing chemicals. The pandemic arrives to your city and you seal you and your family into your home, ready to wait it out. Just then, your trusty biological security system, AKA dog, looks up at you and whines to go “out.” Whoops.
Cats are already trained to use a litter box, but what about man’s best friend? Sure, you could put out newspaper, but who wants to deal with that on the kitchen floor when you cannot leave your house? Kiddie pool to the rescue again! With a little forethought, you can set up the pool for a pet relief station. Whether it be newspaper, sand, or even some artificial grass, having a place for your dog to go is important.
It’s not advised to let the waste sit there, but putting the pooping station in the garage is far more convenient than decontaminating the dog every time they go outside. Combining a small pool with one of those “Diaper Genies” is only one way to control pet mess and odors.
Rigid Plastic or Inflatable Vinyl?
Kiddie pools come in either rigid plastic or inflatable vinyl and, of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It is likely you will want a few of each, depending on how you plan to use them.
Rigid pools are harder to store, but generally easier to put into use. They maintain their shape and they nest together, meaning you can stack them like measuring cups, allowing you to store a large number of them in the same footprint that one pool takes. They are less susceptible to damage, but more difficult to repair once a hole or crack appears.
Inflatable pools are easier to store, as you can keep them in their small boxes until needed, and refold when finished. This storage convenience comes at a price, as they require more resources to put into use. Unless it is a very small inflatable pool, you will need an air pump. Manual pumps will work, but electrical pumps are the quickest, although, it is likely the power grid will be down when you need to employ them. There are battery-operated air pumps, though without a way to recharge them, using them to inflate a pool may not be the best use for your batteries.
Inflatable pools are also more prone to puncture. These can be patched with a vinyl patch kit, and you will need to re-inflate them once the repair is complete. Many inflatable pools have separate chambers, or rings, which will help prevent a total loss if using to store water.
There are also larger pools, the above ground family sized pools, that have a plastic frame and do not require inflating. This material is less prone to puncture, but these types of pools are large and may be more difficult to set up and take down. However, if you had warning of a pending disaster, these would be space-efficient for water storage.
Though it’s clear they have been an overlooked preparedness item, given the many ways you can use kiddie pools, be sure to stock up on these the next time you head to your local big box store.
Food Storage and Freeze drying! Ray Becker “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! On this show, I have a guest with me: Stephanie from Harvest Right. We are going to cover Freeze Drying food for long term storage. Along with freeze drying, I will address other methods of storing your food. Long term storage … Continue reading Food Storage and Freeze drying!
What You Should Look for When Shopping for Food Storage Being prepared is big business and it is easy for the newbie to get completely overwhelmed. Each company claims they are the best value for your dollar, or the best priced, or the highest nutritional value; what about the things that are best for your family? Shopping …
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Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics Host: Gary & GGsBoo “The Road Less Traveled” Welcome to this outing on “The Road Less Traveled.” On this excursion we’ll focus on some of the intricacies of Prepping from our perspectives with an emphasis on psychological preparedness being quite important to our overall efforts. Learning exactly who and what … Continue reading Psychological Preparedness and Shopping Tactics!
Do you have a seed stash tucked away? I certainly do. It’s rare that I use up all the seeds I buy in any given year. When I have some left over, I put them away for next year’s garden.
It just seems so wasteful to throw seeds out, doesn’t it? And, of course, if you harvest and save your own seeds from year to year, then you definitely have a stash, too.
Whether your own stash was purchased or saved from a previous harvest, those seeds won’t be viable forever. The longevity of seeds depends both on which cultivars they are and how they’re stored. Some seeds — including leeks, onions, parsley and parsnips — will last a year at best. Others will remain viable up to five years after they were harvested, and possibly even longer if they’re stored in the right conditions.
Best Method of Seed Storage
Seeds are best stored in cool, dry locations. A general guideline is to keep the combined temperature and humidity level under 100. As an example, the ideal temperature for seed storage is about 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit, which would allow for a maximum humidity level of about 50 percent. To keep your seeds dry, store them in an airtight container. Glass jars with rubber seals on their lids, like baby food or home canning jars, work best. If you’re concerned about moisture within the jar, you can add in a desiccant such as rice.
Keeping the seeds in the fridge or freezer is an excellent way to maintain perfect storage conditions. Keep in mind that frost-free fridges and freezers work by drawing out moisture, and can seriously dry out seeds. However, as long as your seeds are in an appropriate container, they shouldn’t become damaged.
Freezing seeds properly can exponentially prolong their longevity. After all, seed banks like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault count on freezing to keep their seeds viable for centuries. The home gardener shouldn’t expect her own seeds to last quite as long in a home freezer, given the strict scientific protocols and optimal conditions of the Global Seed Vault. Still, frozen seeds should remain viable longer than seeds stored at room temperature.
8 Seeds That Easily Store for 5 Years
While storage methods have a big impact on seed longevity, the type of cultivar also makes a difference. Some of the longest-lasting seeds are members of the cabbage family (Brassicaceae), but there are eight different types of vegetable seeds that will remain viable for about five years, even if not frozen:
Viable and Vigorous Seeds for Healthy Plants
For the healthiest and best-producing plants, you need viable, vigorous seeds. Viability is basically the rate at which seeds sprout or germinate. If, in a sample of 10 seeds of the same cultivar, eight sprout, the germination rate is 80 percent, which is highly viable. If, however, only two or three seeds in that sample sprout, the germination rate is 20-30 percent, and the viability is low.
In addition to viability, the vigor of seeds is an important consideration. Viability is generally measured under optimal conditions. But vigor measures how well sprouted seeds perform under less-than-optimal conditions (e.g., outside in the garden). Seeds need to be strong and healthy to flourish in variable weather conditions and in soil that may be less than ideal.
As seeds age, they decrease both in viability and vigor. They may lose their ability to sprout at all, and those that do sprout may just not have the strength to create a healthy plant. It’s easy to test a seed’s viability, but somewhat more difficult for the home gardener to determine a seed’s vigor. However, by keeping track of how long your seeds have been stored, you can use the list above to determine how well your seeds are likely to perform without bothering with tests.
If you’ve had any of the listed seeds stored for five years already, it would be best to get those planted this year, for healthy plants and a bountiful harvest.
What’s your personal record for planting seeds that have been stored a long time? Share your thoughts in the section below:
I got a postcard in the mail the other day (who sends real mail these days??) from repackbox.com telling me that they’ve expanded their product line to include boxes for more calibers of ammo.
What is repackbox.com? Well, they sell a few useful cardboard products that have appeal to those of us who keep ammo onhand. What I’ve been getting from them are cardboard boxes to store ammo in.
Every so often I find deals on ‘bulk’ ammo. Bulk ammo is just that – bulk. You buy a thousand rounds of ammo you dont get a nice cardboard box with fifty little boxes of 20 rounds each. Nope, you get a big ol’ polybag or box filled with loose cartridges. Great savings, but not exactly easy to store. When the zombies are massing at the barricades the last thing you want to be doing is counting ammo into little ziploc baggies and handing them to your buddies. Repackbox gives you small cardboard boxes, appropriately sized to a particular cartridge, so you can have your ammo organized, neat, and ready for the apocalypse. Case in point: a guy came into the shop and sold me a .50 can full of loose 7.62×39 ammo. I’m not just sticking a can of a thousand loose rounds on the shelf…grabbed a stack of 7.62×39 boxes and a little while later everything was neat, organized, and ready for the apocalypse.
The advantage? Plastic ammo boxes are great, but they aren’t cheap. The cardboard boxes are cheap enough that you can hand out ammo to your buddies at the range or at the rally point and not feel like you’re throwing away money. Also, inexpensive storage boxes are hard to find for some calibers. Repackbox just came out with boxes in a buncha new calibers inc. .30-06, .303 brit., 7.62x54R (better than those string-n-paper bundles you get outta the spam can), and, of interest to me, .30-30.
Although I don’t talk about it much, I like the .30-30. My like for it stems from the fact that after the ubiquitous .22 rifle, the .30-30 carbine is probably the most common rifle in many parts of the country (although the SKS may have supplanted that for a while…but since the days of the cheap Chinese SKS are long behind us….) I rather like the .30-30 in an unltralight single shot Contender carbine, but there are still several million Winchester and Marlin rifles out there. (And Savages and other brands as well.) So…I stock a decent amount of .30-30 and now have a convenient way to package it for distribution and storage.
I’m also a huge fan of he old ‘military style; 50-round ammo boxes. Repackbox makes these for .45 ACP as well as other calibers. Extremely handy.
Since I have a Dillon 1050RL sitting on the bench, I can whip out a lot of ammo in a couple hours. There is very little more satisfying than watching the boxes of ammo stack up like bricks as I package the ammo for storage.
Check ’em out.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Whether you are just getting started to prepare for emergencies or a veteran prepper, you need to declutter in order to make room for emergency supplies. Why you should de-clutter To motivate you, think of all the advantages you gain by de-cluttering now: Sell unwanted but usable items and get extra money for your emergency fund or for preparedness supplies. Even kids get excited about getting rid of unwanted books and toys if […]
Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF Host: Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! As with most topics we have a lot of what if’s? Food storage with preppers is a big deal and we think we have enough. We prepare for so long the amount we think we’ll need, but alas … Continue reading Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF
Jason Hughes is a happy hacker – but not of computers – he is known for leaking Tesla’s plans ahead of the company’s actual announcements, and now he has revealed photos of his own Tesla battery-powered compound in North Carolina. The 4,500 square-foot home has 102 commercial-grade solar panels to capture energy from the sun which then gets stored into a home battery storage unit composed of battery modules ripped from two Tesla Model S 85 kWh packs.
The 44.4 kW home solar system produces enough energy to not only power the entire home and all of its electrical appliances, but also provides enough energy to charge a pair of his and hers Model S each day. The end result is an elaborate home-engineered system that took roughly a year to design and build, and has allowed Hughes and his family to remain 99% self-sufficient for the past two years.
The battery banks used for storing solar energy are derived from*battery packs found from a salvaged Model S. Hughes dismantled the packs to create a stacked array of battery modules. A total of 36 modules are used in the home set up which equates to 2.25x Model S 85 kWh battery packs.
Here’s a video of Hughes performing a teardown of one of the Model S battery packs.
COSTS OF SOLAR POWER
Hughes says a large portion of the overall expenditure went to the $40k cost in Tesla batteries. He admits that the project likely doesn’t make sense from a financial perspective, but it’s important to understand that the value of his project goes beyond what a cost benefit analysis may yield.
Beyond being able to show that living solely off of sustainable energy is possible, the main inspiration behind his yearlong project was his father who taught him at a young age of 9 how to build a small off-grid solar system that produced enough energy to power his bedroom light, a small TV and a PC. That became the catalyst to what would become a lifelong dream to design an off-grid system capable of powering an entire house, along with electric vehicles.
HOME SOLAR SYSTEM WITH TESLA BATTERY
36 modules from 2.25x Tesla 85kWh packs
191.25 kWh (DC side)
43.2V nominal @ 3.6V per cell
15,984 cells (!)
Inverters: 8x Outback Radian GS8048A
240VAC @ 60Hz w/neutral
64kW continuous AC output
30 minute surge: 72kW; 5 second surge: 96kW; 100ms surge: 135.76kW
Grid->Battery Charging Capacity: 57kW
Expected AC output from pack after safe SoC window and efficiency considerations: ~160 kWh usable AC power
PV: 102 Sunpower Commercial Panels @ 435W (20% efficiency) for 44,370 Watts DC
Split into 17 sets of 6 panels (3 parallel of 2 in series)
17 individual MPPT charge controllers (Midnite Solar Classic 200)
Preppers Food Storage List There are so many food storage articles on the net. The best part is that most of them offer some great information. This article is one of the more comprehensive articles out there. It features about 30 food items and how to incorporate them into your food storage plan. It is …
Food Storage with Katzcradul and Peggy Layton! Host: Katzcradul “The Homestead Honey Hour” Can you think of anyone better to talk to about long-term food storage than someone who’s a home economist and licensed nutritionist, has written a series of books on the subject, and has raised seven children utilizing her food storage? She’s out … Continue reading Food Storage with Katzcradul and Peggy Layton!
Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …
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How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky You read the title right! How to make cheeseburger beef jerky. I thought I saw just about every jerky there was… that’s why I love doing this, I learn something new everyday. Jerky is tasty and comes in all variety of flavors from spicy to sweet. I was trying …
If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.
DollarDays – DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.
Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.
Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.
Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.
DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.
Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk
When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.
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Expiration Date Cheat Sheet: The Best Time to Replace Just About Everything How long can you rely on these everyday household goods? Stockpiling food, tools and other resources is a futile act if you don’t pay close attention to the potential longevity – or otherwise – of your goods. When times are good, we don’t …
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The internet is full of websites that give information on survival topics, including food storage. There are dozens and dozens of books that will teach you “the right way” to store food and YouTube videos galore. Most contain valid, trustworthy information, but mixed in with that are a number of food storage myths that many people accept without question.
Here are 10 that I take issue with, and I explain why.
By the way, following Myth #10 are 2 short videos that review these myths.
Myth #1: You should stock up on lots of wheat.
When I was researching foods typically eaten during the Great Depression, I noticed that many of them included sandwiches of every variety. So it makes sense to stock up on wheat, which, when ground, becomes flour, the main ingredient to every bread recipe.
There are a couple of problems with the focus on wheat in virtually all food storage plans, however. First, since the time of the Great Depression millions of people now have various health issues when they consume wheat. From causing gluten intolerance to celiac disease our hybridized wheat is a whole ‘nother animal that our great-grandparents never consumed.
The second issue is that wheat isn’t the simplest food to prepare, unless you simply cook the wheat berries in water and eat them as a hot cereal or add them to other dishes. In order to make a loaf of bread, you have to grind the wheat, which requires the purchase of at least one grain mill. Electric mills are much easier to use and, within just seconds, you have freshly ground flour. However, you’ll probably want to add a hand-crank mill to have on hand for power outages. All together, 2 mills will end up costing a pretty penny, depending on the brands you purchase.
Then there’s the process of making the bread itself, which is time consuming.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t store wheat, and, in fact, I have several hundred pounds of it myself. The emphasis on wheat as a major component in food storage is what I have a problem with. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased far more rice and less wheat. Rice is incredibly simple to prepare and is very versatile. It, too, has a very long shelf life.
Myth #2: Beans last forever.
While it’s true that beans have a long shelf life, they have been known to become virtually inedible over time. Old-timers have reported using every cooking method imaginable in order to soften the beans. A pressure cooker is one option but, again, some have told me that doesn’t even work!
Another option is to grind the beans and add the powdered beans to various recipes. They will still contain some nutrients and fiber.
Over the years, I’ve stocked up on cans of beans — beans of all kinds. They retain their nutrients in the canning process and are already cooked, so there’s no need to soak, boil, pressure cook, etc. You can always home can dried beans, and if you have beans that have been around for more than 10 years or so, canning them is a super simple process and insures they won’t become inedible.
Myth #3: If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat it!
Have you ever fallen in love with a recipe that was easy to make, inexpensive, and your family loved it? You probably thought you’d finally found The Dream Recipe. And then you made it a second time, then a third, then a fourth. About the 8th or 9th time, however, you may have discovered that you had developed a mild form of food fatigue. Suddenly, it didn’t taste all that great and your family wasn’t giving it rave reviews anymore.
When it comes to food storage, don’t assume that someone will eat a certain item they currently hate, just because they’re hungry. If you stock up on dozens of #10 cans of Turkey Tetrazzini, sooner or later the family will revolt, no matter how hungry they are.
Myth #4. All I need is lots and lots of canned food.
There’s nothing wrong with canned food. In fact, that’s how I got started with food storage. However, canned food has its limitations. A can of ravioli is a can of ravioli. You can’t exactly transform it into a completely different dish. As well, canned food may have additives that you don’t care to eat and, in the case of my own kids, tastes change over time. I had to eventually give away the last few cans of ravioli and Spaghetti-O’s because my kids suddenly didn’t like them anymore.
Be sure to rotate whatever canned food you have, since age takes a toll on all foods, but, as I’ve discovered, on certain canned items in particular. My experience with old canned tuna hasn’t been all that positive, and certain high-acid foods, such as canned tomato products, are known to have issues with can corrosion. Double check the seams of canned food and look for any sign of bulging, leaks, or rust.
Lightly rusted cans, meaning you can rub the rust off with a cloth or your fingertip, are safe to continue storing. However, when a can is badly rusted, there’s a very good chance that the rust has corroded the can, allowing bacteria to enter. Those cans should be thrown away.
Worried about the “expiration” date on canned food? Well, those dates are set by the food production company and don’t have any bearing on how the food will taste, its nutrients, or safety after that date. If the food was canned correctly and you’ve been storing it in a dry and cool location, theoretically, the food will be safe to consume for years after that stamped date.
Myth #5: I can store my food anywhere that I have extra space.
Yikes! Not if you want to extend its shelf life beyond just a few months! Know the enemies of food storage and do your best to store food in the best conditions possible.
TIP: Learn more about the enemies of food storage: heat, humidity, light, oxygen, pests, and time.
I emphasize home organization and decluttering on this blog, mainly because it frees up space that is currently occupied by things you don’t need or use. Start decluttering and then storing your food in places that are cool, dark, and dry.
Myth #6: My food will last X-number of years because that’s what the food storage company said.
I have purchased a lot of food from very reputable companies over the years: Augason Farms, Thrive Life, Honeyville, and Emergency Essentials. They all do a great job of processing food for storage and then packaging it in containers that will help prolong its shelf life.
However, once the food gets to your house, only you are in control of how that food is stored. Yes, under proper conditions, food can easily have a shelf life of 20 years or more, but when it’s stored in heat, fluctuating temperatures, and isn’t protected from light, oxygen, and pests, and never rotated, it will deteriorate quickly.
NOTE: When food is old, it doesn’t become poisonous or evaporate in its container. Rather, it loses nutrients, flavor, texture, and color. In a word, it becomes unappetizing.
Myth #7: Just-add-hot-water meals are all I need.
There are many companies who make and sell only add-hot-water meals. In general, I’m not a big fan of these. They contain numerous additives that I don’t care for, in some cases the flavors and textures and truly awful, but the main reason why I don’t personally store a lot of these meals is because they get boring.
Try eating pre-made chicken teriyaki every day for 2 weeks, and you’ll see what I mean. Some people don’t require a lot of variety in their food, but most of us tire quickly when we eat the same things over and over.
These meals have a couple of advantages, though. They are lightweight and come in handy during evacuation time and power outages. If you can boil a couple of cups of water over a rocket stove, propane grill, or some other cooking device, then you’ll have a meal in a few minutes.
TIP: Store a few days worth of just-add-water meals with your emergency kits and be ready to grab them for a quick emergency evacuation. Be sure to also pack a spoon or fork for each person and a metal pot for meals that require cooking over a heat source.
However, for a well-balanced food storage pantry, stock up on individual ingredients and fewer just-add-hot-water meals.
Myth #8: I can stock up on a year’s worth and won’t need to worry about food anymore.
That is probably the fantasy of many a prepper. Buy the food, stash it away, and don’t give it a thought until the S hits the fan. There’s a big problem with that plan, however. When everything does hit the fan and it’s just you and all that food:
- Will you know how to prepare it?
- Will you have the proper supplies and tools to prepare the food?
- Did you store enough extra water to rehydrate all those cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods?
- Do you have recipes you’re familiar with, that your family enjoys, and that use whatever you’ve purchased?
- What if there’s an ingredient a family member is allergic to?
- Does everyone even like what you’ve purchased?
- Have any of the containers been damaged? How do you know if you haven’t inspected them and checked them occasionally for bulges and/or pest damage?
If you’ve purchased a pre-packaged food storage supply, the contents of that package were determined by just a small handful of people who do not know your family, your health issues, or other pertinent details. These packages aren’t a bad thing to have on hand. Just don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.
Myth #9: Freeze dried foods are too expensive.
Yes, there is a bit of sticker shock initially when you begin to shop online at sites like Thrive Life, Augason Farms, and Emergency Essentials. If you’ve been used to paying a few dollars for a block of cheddar cheese and then see a price of $35 for a can of freeze-dried cheddar, it can be alarming.
However, take a look at how many servings are in each container and consider how much it would cost to either grow or purchase that same food item and preserve it in one way or another, on your own.
The 3 companies I mentioned all have monthly specials on their food and other survival supplies — that’s how I ended up with 2 cases of granola from Emergency Essentials!
Myth #10: This expert’s food storage plan will fit my family.
The very best food storage plan is the one that you have customized yourself. By all means, use advice given by a number of experts. Take a look at online food calculators, but when it’s time to make purchases, buy what suits your family best. What one person thinks is ideal for food storage may leave your kids retching.
Lots of resources to help you with your food storage pantry
- “A Round-Up of Food Storage Resources“
- Food Saver — vacuum system for storing food long-term
- Food Saver Mason jar sealer
- Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival by Angela Paskett
- Oxygen absorbers, 100 cc
- Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage by Gaye Levy
- The Preparedness Planner (Print this out and prepare a customized planner!)
- The Prepper’s Cookbook by Tess Pennington
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Emergencies and Worst Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford
Want this info on video? Here you go!
Food Storage Myths, Part 1: Myths 1-5
Food Storage Myths, Part 2: Myths 6-10
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Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …
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How To Install a Truck Bed Storage System If you’re a homesteader, you are probably used to having plenty of fix-it or build-it projects around the property. Hauling your tools and supplies back and forth can be a major pain, and adds a lot of time to any task. Tool boxes can only hold so …
Not long ago in America, the conventional wisdom was that fresh drinking water always would be available. But with recent water crises in West Virginia and then Flint, Mich. – as well as droughts throughout the country – that no longer is the case.
And what if there is a long-term blackout or a terrorist attack that impacts the water supply?
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to stockpile water for your survival. That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Daisy Luther, a survival expert and the author of The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.
She tells us everything we need to know about storing water long-term, including:
- How much water the average person should store.
- What she considers the best way to store water.
- Which type of plastic she recommends to stockpile water.
- How long water will last in storage and remain potable.
Finally, Daisy tells us the cheapest ways to store water. We also discuss water filters.
This week’s show could change the way you stockpile – for the better. Don’t miss it!
Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” Audio in player below! The thought of bugging out is a real threat. Have you thought of the data you have and how you would store it, take it with you or use it on the road? The world today offers us many … Continue reading Data Storage for SHTF Emergency Bug Out
WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart discusses the importance of water in your preparedness plans. The Prepper Rule of Three’s postulates that one can only live three minutes without air, three hours without … Continue reading WATER IS LIFE: Catchment, Purification & Storage
Harvest Time the right time to Preserve! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report” Listen in player below! Now that we’ve reached the Fall season, we’ve reached the time to harvest & preserve foods for the coming winter… or at least that’s what people have done from the dawn of time. Today, normal folk now count on … Continue reading Harvest Time the right time to Preserve!
37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies (FB image uploaded, but not pin) One challenge we all seem to face is how best to store our stuff. Being prepared means having a large stock of necessities (and some luxuries) on hand. It also means you need to figure out how to …
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Being a survivalist, you tend to ‘go long’ on stuff…a hundred rolls of TP at a time, canned goods by the case, socks by the dozen, etc. On a long enough timeline, all this stuff will get used. Some sooner than others. For example, the canned goods will probably get used up within a year or two, but some things, like the #10 cans of freezedrieds, are meant to never be used. They are a ‘only in case of apocalypse’ sort of thing. Some other items, like the bulk AR mags I bought a few weeks ago, aren’t meant to be used but rather tucked away safely for, probably, at least a decade or two.
Items that are meant to be put into long, long, long-term storage are referred to around these parts as ‘Deep Sleepers’. They are items that are not intended to be used anytime within the foreseeable future. And, honestly, probably not even after that.
Case in point, the recent stash of Magpul AR mags. I have no intention of using them. I have enough mags on hand to handle my needs for quite some time. So, this recent batch of Magpuls are Deep Sleepers. They are there as a ward against a new ban, in case the next civil war breaks out, or some other Very Bad Thing happens.
First thing we do is stuff them away into a clean, solid, ammo can with good seals. They’re arranged carefully and sealed up in the ammo can. Once the can is closed up, I put a couple loops of poly strapping around it. This serves two purposes – first, it makes sure the lid stays closed. Second, it keeps me from sneaking a mag or two out of there when I think “Ah, I’ll just take a couple from the stash and put them back later.” (Trust me…you are your own worst looter.) Once that can is sealed up it gets marked up with the contents and quantity on it..preferably on each side and top so I can see at a glance whats in it. After that, I write the contents on a ‘key tag’ and wire it to the bail on the ammo can. After that, the can gets tucked way back in storage and…byebye, baby…see you in twenty years. Once that’s done, the records (I use Evernote and Excel) are updated. In Evernote, this is tagged as “magazines”,”Deep Sleeper”, “Storage”, “AR”, and “MagPul”. I also make a note that this is an item that does not need to be periodically inspected.
That’s it. Right now, as I think about it, Deep Sleepers include stashes of magazines, clothes, freezedrieds, and a few other things. But, most importantly, I know what I have, how much of it I have, where I have it, and how well it is stored. Peace of mind.
6 Ways to Stack Your Firewood Having wood stockpiled is a must. It will heat your house if the power goes out. Cook your food, and bring you some relief if SHTF. Now, stacking the wood…. That’s a whole different kettle of fish! I have a wood pile in my back yard and I will be …
See larger image The Quick Wholesome Foods DVD with 28 page Recipe Booklet shows you how to make delicious heart healthy meals from wheat, grains, beans and more using your food storage. A complete HOW-TO&; Read More …
How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term Everyone knows that having food and water storage is crucial for your SHTF plan, but gas storage is of almost equal importance. Until SHTF happens we will have no idea how much we rely on gas. Seriously, you may say to your self now, nah, I’ll …
Last year we added a third child to our 2-bedroom, 800-ish square foot house. Once she started moving around, it felt like our space shrank dramatically. Around the same time, my parents downsized, and I inherited several pieces of family heirloom furniture. At heart, I’m a minimalist, and between these factors, my minimalist side rebelled. I wanted to get rid of everything we owned!
Among other minimalist advice, I familiarized myself with Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. Her ideas are mainly to de-clutter or sort by category, rather than the traditional advice of doing a room or a closet. For example, do all your books at once. She’s also known for getting people to ask if any given item “sparks joy” or makes you happy, or if it detracts from your life because you’re constantly tripping over it (my paraphrase).
NOTE: Get Survival Mom’s free ebook, “Declutter & Organize Your Living Space.”
This may all be very good advice, but along with being a minimalist, I’m also a prepepr. I’m determined to be prepared for everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios, using this handbook as a guide. With the addition of a child and furniture to my household, my prepper self was thinking about the future–both the bigger political and economic picture and our own family’s financial security. There was a good deal of “stuff” that I felt we needed to keep if we were to be prepared for any number of crises, but how could I continue with my commitment to minimalism?
Can prepping & minimalism co-exist?
There are certainly lots of articles out there about decluttering in general, and plenty about finding creative storage for your preps. But what do you decide to keep and store in the first place? For myself, I came up with 6 criteria I used to evaluate what to keep on hand to satisfy the prepper side of me and what to eliminate to keep my minimalist side sane.
Identify your big categories
From previous conversations, I knew that our main prepper categories as a family were generally: Food & Water, Education, Clothes/Warmth/Shelter, Security, Health (including mental/spiritual), and Communication. Whatever I decided to keep should generally fall into one of these categories.
In the middle of the exploring toddler and the inherited furniture, we had an incident in which one of the kids got injured while I wasn’t home, and my husband couldn’t find the right box of first aid supplies. We had absolutely everything we needed for the situation, but he had to take all the kids (including the injured one) to the drugstore to buy it all again because he didn’t know where I had stored it. This was a significant learning moment for me, because being prepared and having all the right “stuff” doesn’t matter at all if you can’t find it or get to it when you need it! So one of my goals was to make everything as visible and accessible as possible.
Double duty items
Of course you also want to be familiar with all your tools and equipment before the SHTF. One way to do this is to incorporate as much as you can into your daily life. For example, your cast iron pans can be used now on the stovetop or over a campfire in the zombie apocalypse. And once you’re using those on a regular basis, perhaps you can part with some of your other cookware, freeing up more kitchen space.
Space vs. Value
Throughout this process, I was always asking: does the value of this item justify the space it requires? If not, the item went in the give-away box. One of the tactics I used was to incorporate practical items into my decorating. For example, I mixed lanterns with my prized antique books on the shelves. They fit together perfectly!
Meeting needs, not wants
When evaluating my space, I had to embrace the hard truth that I just wouldn’t be able to keep everything I wanted. Once I accepted that, though, it was easier to make decisions based on my other criteria. For example, it was important to keep books that are reference material, or educational, and less important to keep contemporary fiction. Of course, entertainment and distraction is important in times of stress, so I kept plenty of fiction, too, but evaluated it in terms of quality and our family’s interests. So while I evaluated each reference book (and got rid of a few!), I prioritized those over fiction where space was limited.
Very limited hide-away storage
None of your storage does any good if it’s hidden away and you forget about it. For me, keeping lists was too much hassle for our current schedules, so really limiting unseen storage was my priority. Now I can tell you exactly what I have stored in the far corners of my basement today, and I can count it on one hand!
We have a few tubs of sentimental items and photo albums. There’s a set of collector drinking glasses from my grandma that I cannot safely display in our current space, but definitely want to keep. Our file boxes are clearly labeled by year and can be sorted/shredded as they hit their “keep until” dates. There are 5 pieces of the furniture that I could not incorporate into this space, but are certainly worth keeping in hopes of a larger home someday. And our Christmas decorations (which are definitely minimalist!).
My results, so far
Three months into our newly decluttered–but still prepared–home, here are a few observations:
It’s been easier to identify needs and priorities. We all have limited resources, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to get next. Once you know what you do have, you can easily see what you don’t have and prioritize these needs. For me, one of the items that wasn’t on any wish list, but that jumped out at me as a need was a small household tool kit, which I now have.
My choices are now more obvious. Once you identify your needs, you still have to make a choice about how to fill it. For example, a wheat grinder was on my list. Typing “wheat grinder” into Amazon gave me almost 500 results! But now that I had decluttered the kitchen and kept my Kitchen Aid mixer, my choices for our space and needs seemed obvious: a Kitchen Aid attachment, or the Vittorio Deluxe Manual grinder. Then it was just a matter of evaluating only 2 choices, and making a decision.
I have room for new items. Since I earned my Ham radio license earlier this year, my radio equipment has been cluttering the top of my desk, which was messy to look at and probably not the safest for the radio. After I decluttered, though, I suddenly found I had an entire drawer free just for ham radio equipment.
I have more time and less stress. As someone who reads between the lines of the evening news, there’s enough to worry about already. Reducing our clothes and kitchen items has made a dramatic improvement in maintaining the household. Our laundry and dishes are noticeably less! And now I can spend my newly found free time on developing skills and relationships.
How do you make the most of your space and still stay organized?
How long Will Your Water Storage Last? How much water do you think you use on a daily basis? Depending on your personal hygiene preferences: 5 gallons? 10 gallons? 20 gallons? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average American uses 80 – 100 gallons of water per day! In fact, over 410 billion gallons …
PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart continues his discussion about stocking your Prepper Pantry. Last week, the program focused on growing your own food and heirloom seeds. This week, we’ll focus on food storage … Continue reading PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage
52 Week Food Storage Plan This is the mother load of food storage articles, I spend a few days looking for a great article on food stockpiling plans and I think I have found the best there is. Food will be in short supply if an emergency hits. People often think they will be OK …
Easy DIY Pallet Shelving One thing that people never seem to have enough of is shelf space. While store-bought units are generally flimsy or expensive, inexpensive strong high-capacity shelving can be built quite easily from common, cheap (often free) wood pallets. One can often obtain many pallets of the same dimensions just by offering to …
Squash is easy to grow, and the rambunctious vines, huge leaves and colorful blooms add beauty to the late summer garden. However, there’s a distinct difference between summer and winter squash.
Unlike zucchini and other types of summer squash that are harvested in summer when the fruit is immature and the rind is tender, winter squash, including acorn, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti, delicata and pumpkin, are ready to pick in fall when the fruit is mature and the rind is hard.
Most types of winter squash store beautifully with proper preparation, and the flavor is enhanced by the concentration of natural sugars in the fruit. However, storage time varies. Hubbard squash stores well and lasts at least five or six months, while buttercup squash and pumpkins maintain quality for two to three months. Spaghetti squash should be used in four or five weeks.
Acorn squash, which are thin-skilled, should be used fairly soon because they last only about a month. They require no curing period; in fact, curing will actually shorten the storage life of acorn squash.
Harvesting, curing and storing winter squash is simple. Here’s how:
Pick winter squash when the vines begin to die down in late summer or autumn. The color of the squash should be uniform and the finish dull and no longer shiny. If in doubt, poke the squash with your fingernail. The squash is ready to pick if you can’t puncture the rind.
Don’t rush to harvest squash, as immature squash doesn’t store well. However, weather is definitely a factor. Although one or two light frosts won’t damage most types of winter squash, repeated frost or a hard freeze can do serious damage.
Cut squash from the vine with scissors, leaving about an inch of stem on squash; never twist or pull. Leave about an inch of stem on winter squash and 3 to 4 inches of stem intact on pumpkins. (Jack O’Lanterns need a good handle.)
Handle the squash with tender loving care, as any cuts or scrapes can allow pathogens to enter the squash, thus greatly shortening the storage life. If any stems loosen or break, store the squash in the refrigerator and use it soon because it won’t keep.
Place winter squash in a covered porch or other protected, well-ventilated room for 10 days to two weeks. Ideally, squash should be cured at 80 to 80 Fahrenheit to harden the rind and heal any cuts with nighttime temps above 60 degrees. You can leave just-picked winter squash in the garden to dry if weather is dry and temperatures are below 95 degrees.
After curing, brush dirt away gently, and then wipe the squash with a solution of one part water to 10 parts bleach.
Store winter squash in a single layer, not touching each other in a cool, dry, well-ventilated room. Ideal temperatures for storage are between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t store squash near pears, apples or other fruits that emit ethylene gases that decrease the life of the squash.
Check the squash every couple of weeks, and discard or use any that are showing bruises or soft spots.
What advice would you add on storing squash? Share your tips in the section below:
Long a staple of dorm room life as well as a favorite stockpile item, ramen noodles have become a trading commodity at American prisons.
According to a recent study by Michael Gibson-Light, a University of Arizona School of Sociology PhD candidate, the instant soup and noodle product is a valuable bartering tool for inmates for other food items, as well as clothing, personal hygiene products and services.
Frequently maligned for their high sodium content, ramen noodles now come in lower sodium versions and even organic versions.
“Prisoners are so unhappy with the quality and quantity of prison food that they receive that they have begun relying on ramen noodles – a cheap, durable food product – as a form of money in the underground economy,” Gibson-Light said in a news release.
For his research on how inmates are handling declining prison services, Gibson-Light interviewed staff members and male prisoners in an unnamed penitentiary. He reports that “soups,” as ramen noodles are called in prison, have replaced tobacco as the preferred currency for inmates and that prisoners even use “soups” as bargaining chips during card games.
It is easy to see why. The ubiquitous soup product that features hot broth and noodles has a long shelf life and can be eaten “as-is” after mixing with hot water or as the base for other meals.
Story continues below video
Retailing for around 30 cents per three-ounce serving when purchased in bulk packs, ramen noodles are tasty and inexpensive, and they have up to a 10-year shelf life when stored in a cool, dry location. For many survivalists, ramen noodles are a stockpile staple.
Instant ramen was invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, a Taiwanese/Japanese entrepreneur, and is now a multibillion-dollar global industry. The word “ramen” is probably derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese for “lo mein,” which is also a boiled noodle dish.
The Maruchan Company, founded in 1953 by Japanese businessman Kazuo Mori, is the largest producer of instant ramen products. Since 1977 when it opened its first manufacturing plant in Irvine, Calif., Maruchan has produced its products in the United States.
“Maruchan” is a Japanese compound word that loosely translates to mean the round, happy face of a child. The Maruchan website says that it produces 3.6 billion packages of the popular noodle soup each year and boasts that if all those noodles were lined up end to end, they would reach from earth to Mars and back again.
The Chinese consume about 46 billion packets of ramen a year, making them the world’s largest consumers of the product, according to the World Instant Noodles Association.
What is your reaction? Do you stockpile ramen noodles? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Alternative Refrigeration Options When SHTF This is a great subject. This is always on the back of my mind. If the power goes out, we only have a few days, if that, to eat all of our frozen and refrigerated goods. If you don’t they will go bad and start to rot. What are your alternatives? …
DIY Pallet Canning Pantry This is a great DIY guide to turn old pallets into a beautiful canning pantry cupboard, so you can sort out all your jars of your canned food. Storage is always a pain in my house and I’m sure it is in your house too. I guess if you can’t get …
5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile If you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you’ve started to build up your pantry stockpile to draw from when SHTF or when times get lean. There are many different survival pantry lists out there that list out what types of food to stockpile and … Continue reading 5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile
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How To Make Homemade Jam Without Adding Pectin Nothing says “summer preserving” more than homemade jam, but if you’re using store-bought pectin, you may be adding ingredients that you’d rather leave out. Nearly all of the boxed and liquid pectins that you can buy at the store contain genetically modified ingredients, something many people are …
How Much Food Fits in Different Containers For Storage If you are starting out prepping, saving food for a rainy day or just have no idea how much food certain containers hold, usaemergencysupply.com have a great table that tells you approximately how much food can be stored safely in containers ranging from 1 to 6 …
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10 Essential Foods To Include In Your Food Storage Summer is here. That means increased chances of heat waves, wildfires, monsoons and hurricanes. So, what have you done to prepare for such disasters? Well, we’re here to help you be prepared by starting your food storage. When starting your food storage, experts suggest keeping things …
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When I first began setting up my family’s food storage pantry, I was in a bit of a panic. It was late 2008, the economy was beginning to wave red warning flags, and all I wanted was to keep my family safe and surviving. I never stopped to figure out how much food to store.
So, into the shopping cart went multiple cans of ravioli, boxes of granola bars, juice boxes, and Honey Nut Cheerios. I had no idea of how much we needed to have, nor which foods were best. I just figured that food would keep us alive, and that was what was most important.
Well, that’s not a bad starting point, but over time, my knowledge of food storage increased and the contents of my pantry improved, and I owe it all to spaghetti sauce.
The spaghetti sauce eye-opener
One day, after I’d been storing food for several months, I was looking over my over-stuffed pantry shelves and counted the jars of spaghetti sauce I had on hand. 53. Fifty-three jars of Prego, Ragu, Paul Newman’s — pretty much any brand for which I had found a coupon.
Then I counted the amount of spaghetti I had: 13 packages. How did I plan on making spaghetti as a meal without much actual spaghetti? That’s when I realized the importance of aligning what was in my pantry with specific meals planned and knowing how much of each ingredient to purchase and store.
As a mom, I do my regular grocery shopping around a menu. I make a list of what I want to cook for dinners, what we’ll eat for breakfasts and lunches, and then create a shopping list. I think in terms of recipes, not so much in terms of ounces or pounds of specific ingredients.
Over time, this is pretty much how I’ve managed my entire food storage. It’s centered around what we actually like to eat and meals that are easy to prepare if we were without power and I had to use a solar oven, like this one. Even in the best of times, cooking is not my favorite past time, so why complicate the process when planning for the worst of times with overly fussy recipes that are time consuming.
When all hell is breaking loose, who cares if they’re eating chili mac or boeuf bourguignon?
It’s important to have a solid idea of how much food your family consumes now as well as how much it will consume following a major disaster of some type. That way, you’ll know your own family’s needs are covered, will have an idea of how much you can spare (or not) in helping others, and will also let you know when you’ve reached your food storage goal.
Get started with the recipes
One of the best ways to make sure you are storing what you eat, is by doing doing just that – STORE WHAT YOU EAT! Find your family’s favorite recipes and then figure out how much food you’ll need to be able to make those meals for 3 months, 6 months, or however long you want to hide out in your home away from zombies.
You might have to make some minor adjustments to your recipes – like having canned chicken on hand, or buying some freeze-dried fruits and veggies, but if you plan ahead you will have everything you need in case Ebola strikes your town and you need to hide out for awhile.
Some of the recipes that I have in my food storage planner are Macho Mexican Rice (been making this for years, you can tweak it in dozens of different ways), No-Recipe Soups, and various types of skillet casseroles.
In the case of soups and casseroles, their cooking pots or pans become both a mixing bowl, the cooking/baking vessel, and then the serving dish, all in one. Again, think “hard times, no power, must…keep…up…my…strength”. Anything that makes the whole cooking/eating/cleaning cycle easy is the route to take.
As well, look for recipes that are shelf stable and do not require refrigeration. In prepper circles, this is why dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are so popular. Stock up on cans of freeze-dried ground beef, store in on a shelf in a cool location, and you’ll be able to make hamburger pie, chili, or tacos in a matter of 5 minutes. The brand of freeze-dried food that I use most often is Thrive Life, but there are many different brands on the market.
For recipes requiring fresh produce, consider buying freeze-dried and/or dehydrated. Dittos if they call for meat and dairy products. Freeze-dried cheese is surprisingly good, although expensive.
The breakfasts and lunches at my house rarely require an actual recipe. For breakfast, I personally favor oatmeal and homemade pancakes. If I make 3-4 loaves of bread per week for my family of 4, I can serve up sandwiches at lunch. Leftovers are another popular lunch item as well as quick meals of pasta and homemade marinara sauce. Even though these meals are quick and casual, I will still have to account for them in my planning.
How to calculate how much food to store
Now that you have your meals planned, it’s time to calculate how much food you’ll need. A goal of 3 months is a reasonable one for more people and all too many crises, such as Superstorm Sandy, have proven that life doesn’t always return to normal as quickly as we might expect.
Also, in the days and weeks following a major disaster and the grocery stores have re-opened, do you really want to have grocery shopping on your To Do list? That stash of food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc. will be a godsend in more ways than one.
So, on to our calculations.
For each recipe, decide how many times you want to make it in a given month. A meal of pasta and marinara would be fine with my own family if I served it once a week. Dittos for the Macho Mexican Rice and chicken salad using freeze dried chicken. I’ll plan on making each of these meals once a week, or 12 times for my 3-month plan.
For your planning purposes, it will be simpler to assume each main meal/recipe will be made once a week. Therefore, when it comes time to begin shopping for ingredients, you’ll take each recipe, multiply each ingredient times 12, and that’s how much of each ingredient you’ll need to stock up on.
Going back to my Mexican rice recipe, let’s use that as an example:
- 2 cups white rice
- 3 T. olive oil
- 3 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. each: cumin, chili powder
- 1 can chopped green chilies
- 1/2 c. corn (frozen, freeze-dried, or canned)
- 1/2 c. salsa
My plan is to make this once a week and, since all the ingredients are very food-storage friendly (have long shelf lives and can be stored at room temperature), I’m ready to move on to my calculations by multiplying each ingredient amount by 12.
- 24 cups white rice
- 36 T. olive oil
- 36 cups water or chicken broth
- 24 T. tomato paste
- 24 cloves garlic
- 6 t. salt
- 12 t. each: cumin, chili powder
- 12 cans chopped green chilies
- 6 c. corn
- 6 c. salsa
Looking over this list, a few things come to mind that will make storing this food easier. First, rice is inexpensive and maybe another rice-centered meal would be a good idea. I can buy a 50 pound bag of rice at Costco and be ready to make many dozens of these recipes. That would cover 2 days per week with 2 rice meals.
Storing oil can be tricky, and I detail the problem and solutions in this article, but in this case, olive oil stores for quite a long while on its own and can also be refrigerated or even frozen to extend its shelf life.
Next, if I prefer chicken broth over water, I can buy a large can of chicken bouillon and be good for at least a year. The bouillon from the grocery store is very expensive in comparison. Buy tomato paste in the largest size can OR make my own with tomato powder and a little bit of water.
Most of my recipes require garlic and I have a good supply of garlic powder on hand already. For this recipe and during a time of duress, I’d go ahead and use that garlic powder in lieu of fresh garlic. If you also use a lot of garlic in your cooking, plant many cloves of it and begin harvesting your own.
The remaining ingredients are all nicely shelf stable and will last for years by storing them in a dark, cool location — away from the enemies of food storage. I buy many spices in bulk already and canned goods and the salsa can be purchased inexpensively with coupons.
Once I know how much of each ingredient I need for this recipe, I need to make the same calculations for every other recipe in my plan. Honestly, this is the hardest part of the whole planning process.
You’ll end up with quite a long list of ingredients, but you’ll find a lot of recipes will call for the same ingredient. Between coupons, grocery store sales, and buying food in bulk when it costs less per unit, this really doesn’t have to be expensive.
By the way, if these large amounts cause you to freak out, just step your goal down a notch from 3 months to 1 month or from 1 month to 2 weeks. The main goal is to have extra food on hand that your family will eat and that can be prepared for a time of emergency. Once you get those 2 weeks or that 1 month under your belt, just repeat the process, except this time around, you’ll be a pro!
The recipe secret
If you think about a time when you’ll have to rely on stored food to see you and your family through a very tough time, the last thing you’ll want to do is make complicated recipes. The Mexican rice recipe borders on being almost too fussy for a survival recipe, but I’ve made it many times and know that I can make it as simple as possible by using only the first 6 or 7 ingredients AND I can turn it into a very satisfying meal by adding just about any kind of meat, including homemade hamburger rocks or freeze-dried beef.
The secret to making the planning, shopping, and storing of your food easy is by selecting very simple recipes that call for basic ingredients that will also be used in other dishes. If your kids can also make the recipes, that’s a huge bonus. This article provides even more details for the planning process.
Depending on your own style and skills, all this information can be kept in a spreadsheet or on sheets of plain old notebook paper. You’ll definitely want to have a system for tracking what you have and what you still need to buy.
160 Reasons to Stock Coconut Oil Coconut oil is magical in my opinion. I have been blogging about homesteading and self-reliance for many years now and I still come across new things you can do / use coconut oil for. Coconut oil offers a wide range of health benefits, coconut oil is affordable, readily available …
Don’t Cut Corners: How to Identify Food Grade Buckets When it comes to cutting corners to save a buck or two, you shouldn’t on storing food. If you do not use food grade buckets you will find your food will not last very long. There are ways to tell if the buckets are food grade or …
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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com If you are trying to build up your emergency food storage, you may be concerned about the costs associated with storage containers along with the food itself. There is some expense involved, but it does not have to break your budget. There are free or inexpensive ways to obtain emergency storage containers. Here are a few tips: Water Containers You don’t have to spend a lot of money on water containers. 2-liter soda […]
The post Money Mondays: How to Get Free Containers for Emergency Storage appeared first on Apartment Prepper.
Food Storage With Buckets 101 Something that anyone who is serious about getting food storage needs to think about, because if you’re investing your time and money into food, you want to make sure you’re storing it properly. I found this great article that gives you all the information you could ever need on storing food in buckets. This …
Budget Preps for the Frugal Prepper With the rising cost of…well everything, finding any extra money for preps (or anything else) can be a real challenge. How can you possibly prepare for the unknown when making ends meet on your day to day is hard enough as it is!? Part of being a prepper means …
The Survival Guide To Long Term Food Storage These are troubling times indeed with economic, climatic, and social upheavals and wild gyrations of every type in every corner of our planet. One of the most important factors towards this type of preparation is to ensure that there is an adequate food supply to last out …
The 411 on Oxygen Absorbers And Long Term Food Storage Oxygen absorbers have transformed the way we store our food. Adding these magical packets to your food storage creates an oxygen-free environment that prevents oxidation from occurring in foods as well as inhibits insect infestations. This assists in prolonging your food source, thus contributing to your …
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Long Term Water Storage: How Long Will Your Water Storage Last How much water do you think you use on a daily basis? Depending on your personal hygiene preferences: 5 gallons? 10 gallons? 20 gallons? Do you have a means to filter your water? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the average American uses 80 …
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20 Comfort Foods for the Survival Pantry One of the most overlooked items to store in your survival preps is comfort food. Beans and rice will keep you alive, but the possibility of suffering from ‘food fatigue’ goes up each meal you eat the same thing. Oatmeal and powdered milk will fill your belly but …
I have a collection of Tostitos Queso Dip glass jars that I’ve been saving for quite some time. In fact, I love to use them for storage so much that I moved them all the way from Oregon to Texas. Today is the day that I’m going to repurpose those glass jars into something spectacular. […]
How To Dehydrate Butter And ‘Butter’ Substitutes Today I am concentrating on food storage here on shtfpreparedness.com. In this article you will see how to dehydrate butter, save a lot of money and have it stored when SHTF. Butter is always going on sale at the supermarkets, take advantage of that, buy bulk and dehydrate …
Sugar, foods, and health in prepping! James Walton “I Am Liberty” I was sitting in the sauna today after a grueling workout it came to me. I was dripping sweat and staring the scorching ground of the sauna thinking about how hard it had been to avoid sugar for the 3 weeks I have been … Continue reading Sugar, foods, and health in prepping!
An Overview of Making Survival Caches The act of burying valuables and supplies is something that humans have been doing for literally tens of thousands of years – it’s not exactly a new concept. Most, if not all, preppers consider making some with supplies at some point in their prepping journey. Anyone can make a survival cache, …
50 Tips for Eating From the Pantry When You Have No Money for Groceries When do you actually use the stuff in your prepper’s pantry? Have you ever stopped to think about what is the most frequent disaster that causes people to turn to their emergency food supplies? It isn’t what you might think. The …
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10 Common Cheap Foods with Very Long Shelf Lives The human body can only go so long without food. As a matter of fact, after about 30 days, you’ll begin to degrade in health quality without any food in your system. But since the grocery stores will be cleaned out during a crisis, it will be …
How To Protect Your Food Storage Stockpile From Mold Molds is a fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors, in walls and on everyday items. No one knows how many species of mold exist but professionals estimates range from tens of thousands to three hundred thousand or more. Mold spores can survive harsh […]
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How To Preserve Dairy Products For Emergency Situations When it comes to being prepared, food and water is usually right at the top of the list. The focus is generally on getting proteins stored for the long term but many of them overlook the importance of having preserved dairy products on hand as well. Sure, …
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I am quite happy with my cardboard can organizers, they have survived a couple moves and several years of can foods being stored in them, but they are sized for normal sized cans. I still need something for can drinks, tuna cans, and tomato paste cans. As soon as I saw a picture on pinterest of someone using a Magazine Rack for Can Storage I knew it was worth exploring. See larger image Universal Recycled Plastic Large Magazine File, 6-1/4″ x 9-1/2″ x 11″ 3/4, Black (8119) Simple, smart and sturdy. Designed with a generous size to keep your magazines,
Critical Items Needed for Survival Shelters And Home We often miss or over look critical items needed when prepping. Get a great head start today! There are so many lists going around right now on the internet and over Facebook I think I should make a statement. Lists are always down to you, your needs, …
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How To Make Your Food Stretch And Cut the Waste There is no denying that food is getting more and more expensive, especially if you want to eat anything resembling healthy food. Meat alone has seen price hikes by well over 60% in the last 4-5 years and people are feeling the strain in their …
Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like When people think about an economic collapse occurring, they generally imagine one dramatic event. But a true economic collapse looks nothing like that. Take Venezuela, for example. After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the country does not have enough food to feed its population, and …
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14 Foods You Might Have Forgotten To Store No one is perfect, no one will have everything they think they will need in an emergency and most importantly, no one will ever have enough food stockpiled to sustain them until they die in a SHTF situation. Alan from urbansurvivalsite.com has compiled a list of 14 …